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Old 04 July 2018, 06:49 AM
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erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,330

I don't know the answers to all of the permutations of the hidden/mistaken treasure hypotheticals. With thrift stores, it might be that they generally assume the risk of something turning out to be more valuable than they think.

I'm fairly certain that is how it would work when someone sells a painting that itself turns out to be a Picasso (or whatever). If you sell a painting without having had it appraised, you assume the risk that it is more valuable than it appears to you. There is an exception that sometimes applies: If the buyer has the expertise to recognise that it's a valuable painting and they snatch it up, then the sale might be voidable based on the unilateral mistake of the seller, and the buyer taking advantage of it.

Buying a painting from an individual, where there's a second painting underneath -- it's possible that mutual mistake would apply, and the sale would be voidable, but it may depend on the exact circumstances.